Which candidates are pro-life?

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Jan. 18, 2005
A letter to U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) dated December 17, 2004 and signed by Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman, Ph.D., sharply criticized Senator Hutchison’s advocacy for pursuing embryonic stem cell research in Texas. (See RNC/Life FaxNotes, 12/17/04)

Mr. Pojman condemned Senator Hutchison's support for embryonic stem cell research, writing that such research "requires the intentional destruction of living, human embryos to harvest embryonic stem cells." He continued, "If that isn't bad enough, you desire to use state public funds for this type of research."

The letter further states, "You point to California as the model of state-funded embryonic stem cell research and suggest that Texas follow its lead. California does not represent mainstream America; nor does it represent Texas values. We enthusiastically back Governor Perry's support for ethical and nondestructive medical research. He supports stem cell research, as does the pro-life community, when the stem cells are obtained without harming the donors — as from bone marrow and blood from adults.

"The list of diseases treated with adult stem cells is over 100 and growing. Many Texans, including leukemia patients, are alive today because of adult stem cell transplants. This proven track record contrasts with the fact that no disease today is treated with embryonic stem cells. Many believe that the success of adult stem cell research makes embryonic stem cell research unnecessary."

Mr. Pojman reminded Senator Hutchison, who is pro-abortion until viability, that "Each one of us was once a human being at the stage of embryo, a basic biological fact. Texas law recognizes this and protects unborn children as individuals from violent crimes of murder and assault from a third party. Our law now states that a person is 'a human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.'"

In his closing admonition, Mr. Pojman writes, "As U.S. Senator, you are charged to represent Texas in Washington. Let Governor Perry and the state legislature do their job of running the state of Texas and setting policy." Amen!

Issue-specific organizations often publish voting records or scorecards indicating how Members of Congress vote on legislation related to their particular cause. In the case of life issues, voting records can be misleading when you are trying to find out how a legislator really stands.

A case in point: "Hutchison's allies note that of 37 'key votes' listed by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) the senator voted against the group's recommendations only once since 1997 — on a resolution affirming support of the court decision [Roe v. Wade] that legalized abortion." (Ft. Worth Star Telegram, 12/19/04)

The truth of the matter is, Senator Hutchison is on record as supporting legal abortion until viability.

She has said she wants the pro-life plank removed from the Republican National Platform. She serves on the Honorary Advisory Board of The WISH List, a political action committee that raises money for Republican female congressional candidates who are pro-abortion-choice, from which she received $34,500 in her first Senate race.

Senator Hutchison is not pro-life, but if you rely solely on her voting record as presented by NRLC or others who track congressional votes, you would never know that.

The contradiction between her NRLC voting record and her true pro-abortion position is due to that fact that the pro-life legislation Senator Hutchison has voted on has been regulatory or restrictive in nature, only limiting to some extent the degree to which abortions may be performed or funded. Those votes do not reveal her true pro-abortion position because there have been no recorded votes in Congress on the fundamental question of legal protection of innocent human life from conception. Until we have such a vote, which would uncover politicians who want to appear to be "pro-life" but in reality support legal abortion, pro-life voters should avoid basing their support for candidates on voting records alone.

That is why RNC/Life encourages our friends and supporters to use the RNC/Life Candidate Questionnaire. Submit it to the candidates you will be voting for. Publicize their answers. Let your friends, family and pro-life associates have the information so that they too, can make informed voting decisions.

Speculation is growing that Senator Hutchison may not seek another term in 2006, but instead, return to Texas to run for Governor in the Republican Primary against the incumbent, Governor Rick Perry. Press reports indicate that both politicians have war chests of approximately $7 million. While Texas law prohibits Perry from raising funds while the Legislature is in session, Mrs. Hutchison's fund raising ability is not constrained, although she is limited to contributions of $2,000 or less.

Hutchison and her staff are reportedly making calls to key individuals in the state, "testing the waters" to determine the level of support that may be out there for her potential race for Governor. Anyone who considers himself pro-life who supports Kay Bailey Hutchison or any other pro-abortion candidate for public office betrays the cause for which we have fought for so long and so hard. The right to life is not a "single" issue it is a multi-faceted qualifying issue.

President Bush's nominee for U.S. Attorney General, former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, made the following statement during his confirmation hearing regarding the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision:

"Of course, the Supreme Court has recognized a right of privacy in our Constitution, and in Roe the court held that that right of privacy includes a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. A little over a decade ago, the court, in Casey, had an opportunity to revisit that issue. They made a — they declined to overturn Roe, and of course made a new standard that any restriction that constituted an‘undue burden' on a woman's right to choose could not be sustained. My judgment is that the court has had an opportunity — ample opportunities — to look at this issue. It has declined to do so. And as far as I'm concerned, it is the law of the land and I will enforce it."

Remember that, in the event Mr. Gonzales is nominated to the Supreme Court.

Republican National
Coalition for Life

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